What To Wear as a Single Guy in the Philippines

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140 comments

  1. Its called a barong and when I got married in Philippines first time I wore one I look stupid very uncomfortable im a polo man or t shirt Henry thanks didn’t know that stuff I just wear what I like don’t really care what people say

  2. My fiancée always tries to get me into tight t-shirts. I naturally gravitate toward loose, button-down shirts–not just for comfort but because it’s easier to hide knives and guns and stuff. I don’t have a concealed carry permit in the Philippines, of course, so that is not an issue.

  3. My Goodness, an interesting video, that begs 2 questions, first being, I thought it was not wise to wear your wealth, second is, how can you consider the importance of your clothes if you are wearing cargo shorts ? A fashion ” faux pas ” if i ever heard one. I would suggest a nice lightweight pair of slacks to go with the polo shirt. Shorts simply say casual days. Thanks Henry lets keep the information and ideas flowing.  

    1. There are shorts that are cut like slacks. Those are the kind of shorts I  buy for my Dear Husband and he wears a collared short-sleeved button down shirt, which would be step up from a polo-shirt.

    2. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines I go to Ayala mall daily and I never seen so many armed guards in my life. I was wondering if security is the number 1 occupation here. 

    3. Yes, that shows a balanced view. I myself actually will be keeping this video and discussion in mind as I often get too casual in my attire and will pack accordingly so to have options, thanks Henry.

    4. @roysjoy if i’m in the carbon market (cebu), merkado of lapu-lapu.. those type of places, i have no problem with “dressing down” to a t-shirt/shorts.  I’ll even skip carrying a backpack if possible.  but when in the upper-class malls of Ayala or SM Cebu, Robinson’s Dumaguete.. i personally don’t like to look like a slob when everyone else (especially the hot girls) are dress all nicely.  so.. depending on where i am, i try to dress appropriately.  crime is pretty much zero in the nice malls.. but out on the streets, it’s best to dress-down.

  4. Another ooppsss here. I deleted an account from Google and all posts under that account went bye-bye.

    Hi Henry,

    I much prefer what I would call a short sleeve dress or casual wear shirt.
    These  are not the classic “Hawaiian”, oft times, loud print shirts.
    I find T-shirts to be too hot and clingy for the Philippine climate.
    While “Polo” type shirts certainly look much better the T-shirts I find them even hotter usually due to heavier weight fabric.

    A good button down collar or not, short sleeve, casual dress shirt is for me the best. One word of caution however. Make sure it is a blend of cotton/polyester. Pure cotton casual wear shirts are usually of a heavier fabric. I have some stowed away and never wear them. They look very good but are too damn hot.

    Also here in the Fils you must be cautious about the fabric content printed on the labels. I bought a couple of shirts that said pure cotton only to find out after wearing them that the label was pure B.S. and the shirts were 100% made from synthetic fabric. That’s a lot like wearing a plastic bag for a shirt. Usually you can tell by the “feel” of the fabric if it is a blend.

    The casual shirts can be had in solid colors or stripes or plaids. And they do make you look better. It is hard to find larger sizes in the Philippines unless you go to high end clothing stores. And for the prices you pay there you might as well buy something stateside and bring them with you. Wal-Mart is a good place as are Target stores. They usually have a good selection and decent prices.

    Definitely cargo type shorts. I cannot understand how the women here wear those skin tight jeans. Looks good but must be very hot(double entendre intended). As for Levi’s or other types of heavy weight, tight fitting jeans…you gotta be out you mind to wear them here. I often have a good chuckle at those OWM(old white men) strolling around the malls with 40lbs of beer belly fat hanging over the front of their 4 sizes too small jeans.

     I guess they figure if they can still squeeze into a 42″~46″ waist they are not really fat. To me that rates up there with the bad comb overs trying to hide a bald spot. Oh yeah, I am 5’8″ about 165lbs. So I can usually find all manner of clothes that fit me here in the Philippines. And I am an OWM at 65.

    But you should bring a pair or two of loose fitting fairly lightweight trousers, just in case. I have three pair of what look like pajama bottoms. They are very light and nice and baggy. I can carry a pair in my backpack then slip them on outside the immigration office. Although now that the Cebu office has moved to their new location in the J-Mall I do not know if the long trouser rule is still in effect.

    BTW and FWIW Men wear trousers, women wear pants. So you can let your woman wear the pants in the family as long as you wear the trousers.

    Take care,
    Fred

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines when i was in california, i almost considered bringing my thin, wool suit.. just in case, for a wedding someday.  oh hell no.. way too hot for the PH, i left it in calif.  ha!

  5. i’ll stick to the old tshirts,and shorts, like to blend right in with the filipinos when we visit there for a month every year, really helps having a filipino wife also

  6. Haha. Can’t believeyou made a video about clothing.  For those who are new to the Philippines, just remember that it is usually hot and humid here (even if it’s raining).  You won’t impress anybody with sweat-stained underarms and back.  Dress lightly but don’t wear your sleeping attire outside.

  7. There’s another category of shirts that seem to have been forgotten: short-sleeved, button down shirts that are cut similar to “dress” shirts. I have a goodly number of these I wear in the warm climate of Las Vegas. Some of these shirts can even been worn with a tie. When I wear one of those shirts along with a nice clean pair of khaki shorts, I turn many a filipina head at the malls in Cabanatuan City! Not that I notice, of course…my dear wife points it out….

    1. @LifeBeyondTheSea – Philippines Just get someone to iron it for you. I know it’s strange for some people but my favorite household chore is ironing. I rather iron than wash the dishes. :-p

  8. I think what your discribing is a Barong Tagalog. Fabric are made from pina (pineapple), jusi (abaca fiber) and banana fiber, or silk with varying degrees & size of (hand) embroideries on the front. These are worn on formal occasions. The cheaper ones I think are made from cotton. These are worn for ordinary days at the office by the rank & file guys, security details (VIP protection), or for school uniforms and so on.
    Unless you’re off to a formal or important function (like “Mamanhikan” asking the parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage), I don’t suggest you wear a Barong. 

  9. I found your vlogs by accident, it’s really cute. I am a pure Dumaguetena, I see the expats around town a lot, though never really interacted with one. I really appreciate your love for Dumaguete. As for the what to wear, clean. simple and smells good. So  a good cologne, nice clean t-shirt and a pair of jeans is okay to go around town. Hope you find love and happiness in our small but sweet city. I also hope only good men come. Goodluck and God Bless.

    1. @She An i very much love it here in ‘Duma’.  🙂  from here i am beginning to visit nearby places like valencia, dauin and even bayawan.

  10. Hello Henry, I really enjoy the segment regarding what to wear as single newbies, but how about men such as myself who are not single and visiting fiancé for first time?

  11. If im not mistaken the 4th cloth your talking is the national custome of filipino men its call barong tagalog..the fabric is made of piña leaves..its reall pretty..and gorgeous.. Any way aslong as your comfortable with your cloth in the philippine it ok..just dont wear winter cloth coz its humid weather..hehe

  12. I never knew there was a way of “how you dress” in Philippines. Tshirts or jerseys, doesn’t necessarily convey “common” or bottom line or “bare minimum”. It’s comfy to people, and many Filipinos love to play or watch basketball hence the Jerseys. Even wearing them can still attract people. It doesn’t have to be labelled with “Lakers” or what not

  13. Henry, you forgot my favorite shirt. The sleeveless “wife beater” look. I have to say I rock that look at fifty eight years old. The locals call me John Cena.  But in all fairness to you Henry, you have to have some guns to look right in this type of shirt!  (HA)!    : )

    1. @Robert Briant i just saw a dude in a wife-beater shirt yesterday.. damn, that was a sad sight.  i really wanted to tell him, “please.. just, go home and put on some other shirt.”  

  14. Im from cebu but i always wear those brands that is fit for local fashion like penshoppe or bench, its affordable and i guess thats a cool shrts their either polo shirt or just a plane shirt, i guess its kind of similar to US style.

  15. Honestly when I used to visit the P.I, I never realy over did it, just wore a lot of surfing brand shirts and sporting hawaiian short or plain shorts with great running shoes and oakley glasses, being a balik bayan guy, I stand out, people can tell I was not raised in pinas, but yea had some fun and sad times out there, never realy had a real gf

    1. @Luis Esparolini that would depend on what island you’re on.  on Bohol there is a Bee Farm that is very popular as a tourist place with fresh honey.  here on Dumaguete i’ve gotten fresh honey from a guy selling it along the beach.

  16. 🙂 this might depend tho..most of the time those guys in Hawaiian shirts are like more than 40,..  yeah polo shirt are cool..but it doesn’t always mean it’s just for a rich guy.but it seems sooo clean instead .. 

  17. the 4th shirt is called barong tagalog and the expensive one are made from fibers of pineapples ..so if u wear one…think about it…the rest of the pineapple might be in a grocery shelves in cans marked Dole…no kidding

  18. Hey, thanks for posting this. Yes, i’ve noticed the reaction to polo shirts. Do you know of any “big menswear” stores in phils? Or would you suggest finding a tailor to make shirts? I suspect even tailor made shirts may be cheaper than buying stuff in US/UK/Australia.

    1. @Browntau i should find me a good tailor and have some more shirts made. few carry my size and i’m not as big as other expats. second-hand stores often have usa-size shirts. those stores are called ukai-ukai. 🙂

  19. good video when I spent my month there all I would had on was shorts an short sleeve shirts I felt very comfortable and casual just like I dress all year long in fort Lauderdale

  20. You’d be amazed, maybe not, at how many of the PI travel vids have no narration. That is just plain useless. You obviously take some time to think the topics through and plan the presentation some anyway…thanks.

  21. Henry, i just visted and im only comfortable in nice nice clothes. However, it attracts attention, i tried to lighten it up but its uncomfortable for me..

  22. Hello, I enjoyed your video. My girlfriend lives in Davao and everytime I go visit her she wants me to wear polo shirts. I never thought much about it till I heard your comments. Great information.

  23. I love the sleeveless shirts, or muscle shirts as they call them and T shirts. Polo’s to are good, for airflow maybe the light weight short sleeve button up shirts too. I plan on sandals or tennis shoes for foot wear, Cargo shorts as i hear that’s the fashion many wear there from the states.

    1. +Charles Hagen i get most of mine in the usa when i visit. in the malls, polos can go for up to $20. in the usa, i can get them for about $9 each.

  24. Yeah, the Filipino dress (formal) shirt is really expensive and made from coconut husk fibers.  No idea how you wash that.  They cost about $150 – $200

  25. In my videos about the Philippines I always wear a Hawaiian shirt. Sort of started when business customer of mine in Washington DC saw me in the Hawaiian shirt and said why are you wearing that shower curtain? It struck me as particularly funny. So I vowed to wear those shirts through all my videos. This is a Margaritaville shirt that retails at $68 bucks but at SAMs club it was $19 and if you wait like me to buy them on super sale $3.91 … Yes I know the joke … You paid that much! Good job Rekay

  26. The white formal shirt is called a Barrong.. (bar-rung) I have one, I was married with it.. Still fits. after 8 yrs of good cooking by my Filipina wife who wants to fatten me up, so younger women wont look at me..

  27. oh a dress shirt i got a few of them and they arent to bad in the hot weather because the material is rather thin however pitstains are pretty noticeable cuz i still sweat like a beast

  28. Hey thanks for theae videos ive learned alot from you however i know it can get rutealy hot there what about tank tops? Thanks coming for 2 weeks in july might not leave lol

  29. I think I will go with the polo shirt for daytime,and dress shirt worn in a casual manner sleeves rolled up.Nice pair of jeans not necessarily denim and sneakers. I am not really a shorts and flip flops type of guy, unless just chilling around the house.Off course this is assuming I can survive the heat and humidity.
    Thumbs up for another great and informative video.

  30. I have a standard daily uniform – and it rarely changes: Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, leather sandals. I have 2 dozen shirts (more planned), 3 or 4 shorts, and 2 pairs of sandals. Standard daily uniform – and I can dress in the dark and still look good. But that’s just me.

    1. lyn is the only filipina g/f who lets me wear hawaiian shirts in town. 🙂 my previous g/f’s would not have it. said i looked like a tourist. (ie; other filipinas would notice me) ha! but my original hawaiian shirts are wearing out so i need a new batch next time i go to calif. hard to find though if i visit in the winter holidays.

    2. BTW: The white formal shirt worn to weddings and government offices is called a barong tagalog – the traditional dress of the Philippines going back to Spanish days. I have a couple of those too – which I only wear to church on Sunday.

  31. It is called Barong Tagalog. I wore one when I got married in the PI. I like polo shirts because it is like a t-shirt with a collar. Plus more formal. Thanks for the info!!!

  32. Just been thinking, that yes your correct about the style options however, you forgot a huge point.
    As a foreigner you should never dress to show you got money. Always go for the more well fit/cut T-shirt or Hawaii shirt.
    Due to the money factor of polos you should not wear them.
    People will be trying to use us much more often. And you attract more gold diggers than you you otherwise would prefer.
    Thank you great videos. And yes! I know its an old video 🙂

  33. that 4th option shirt is THE National Shirt, worn to the most special occasion such as getting married, meeting the pope, getting buried in…

  34. how are you,i don’t know if you are still in ph, but I need information how I get livening place in Bohol and as will in manila and mandnia . plz can you help me about that thanks lats

  35. i dress laid back as hell , i wear t-shirt shorts, flip flops, sometimes i feel people stare when I go to the mall, i only go to the mall to get something i need and then quickly get out so I don’t bother dressing too fancy, but the staring makes me anxious and sweaty, the ones that give me a serious stare are specific types of girls and mothers, they look at me like i don’t belong at the mall, im not stereotyping all fillipinos, just only a handful types of judgy high class people,… thats just my opinion overall Its nice here in the philippines(metro manila/manila/sm manila

  36. Henry, I’ll be 66-67 years old when I retire to the PH in 13 1/2 to 14 years from now. At that age I probably won’t care about impressing anybody. My basic wardrobe will consist of tank tops, shorts, and flip flops. I’ll probably keep some t-shirts and polo shirts (considering they are breathable and not sticking to me) as a backup, but my original wardrobe will pretty much stick.

  37. Just to help you out the last shirt that you mentioned is called a barong, you could be possibly right depending on what type of shirt a foreigner could wear to attract girls, I think it depends on the character of that person if he is joyful he has more chances to get a girl if he is submissive and quiet open possibly arrogant he has no chance, but at the end of the day as long as you are a foreigner you will get any girl because they see us as moneymakers, i’ve seen eight-year-olds with 18-year-olds, for myself regardless of what I wear I still pulling girls, I also think it depends on what the person looks like,
    The secret to get girls make them laugh be funny and before you know it there in your hotel room with in one hour

  38. Serious question here. I have a service connected disability that requires me to wear compression hose. Bad circulation. What would be the Filipino reaction to that? No way to go without wearing shorts in that heat. Thanks in advance.

  39. The fourth shirt is called a Barong Tagalog or simply a Barong. It is not just for weddings and politicians. It is a dress shirt equivalent to wearing a western suit and tie but the great thing is there is no tie!! They are very comfortable and if you will be staying there for a good length of time I suggest you go to a tailor shop and have 2 or 3 tailor made for you for those times when you want to attend some function and look really good but at the same time being extremely comfortable. When you wear the Barong you wear a t-shirt underneath as the Barongs are made of sheer clothe and can be seen through. This is good because you can wear a colored t-shirt underneath the white Barong and you will look absolutely fabulous even if you don’t have a great physic.

  40. What I found that works really well in the heat is are these:
    A button down short sleeve shirt with a collar.
    I moisture wicking polo. Undrrarmor and such make great one.
    Same goes for tee shirts. Moisture wicking is the only way to go.
    They dry out fast and don’t hold onto the sweat. My wife likes the polos and cargo shirt combo. I still wear sneakers, just cannot do flip flops when out of the house.

  41. You were referring to the barong, I have a long sleeve for formal occasions. But, I brought some guayaberas from Mexico and it really makes me standout when I wear them with slacks and boots. I also like wearing the cubaveras as well..

    1. a suit would not work out for casual, daily attire. some locals do wear suits, but they indoors working in air-con offices uptown. won’t see them walking around midday outside.

  42. Reekay, you are the man dude, be thankful you are dark completed and you are tan. You look good in all 3, Reekay, I’m not queer haha but I do love clothes, I am coming there also, there women are very beautiful, thanks for the good fashion tips and I will have a filipina on my arm or maybe even my Chinese babe who wants to meet there. Keep making great videos

  43. short sleeve “dress shirt” when going out, basically a hawaiian shirt but not as loud and obnoxious. wife beater around the house. i hate polo shirts/tshirts.

  44. Reekay mate! where is the best location for a 60 year old bloke like me from england to go to find a girl for a serious relationship? Appreciate any advice? By the way love your stuff it’s very informative!!

    1. in my opinion, the philippines. no language barrier is a big thing. as for what island, there are great women on every island, every city if you know what to look for. a bit more work finding one in cebu or manila, but they are there. important thing is that you know what you’re looking for and not get distracted with anyone else.

  45. I literally only own black t-shirts, black pants and black boots.
    I wore this every time in Thailand and I plan to wear it in the rest of the world too.

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